Drone Defence Systems

The more popular (and cheaper) drones become for private and commercial users the more concerned people and critics get since unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can not only compromise the privacy but can also pose a serious security risk. As the amount of drones in the air increases each year, one question in particular arises:

HOW DO YOU PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THIS POSSIBLY DANGEROUS TOY?

Various companies have recognized the dangers of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and the increased demand for security and privacy measures, which is why firms are stepping up their efforts in order to keep the UAVs out of the air. There is a wide range of devices ensuring the privacy and security the buyer is looking for. Needless to say that the performance and the quality of the product dictate the purchasing price. Depending on the application area and the desired effect the prices vary greatly. 

Drone Detection

There are different countermeasures to make sure your privacy and security are not endangered. One option is a drone detector which uses microphones in order to spot nearby UAVs. By deploying multiple sensors it forms a sensing barrier and consequently allows the owner to get the location of the drone.

detect drone alarm system protect property

As soon as the UAV is detected, the sensor sends an alarm. The principle is simple, but its success highly depends on the volume of the ambient noises as well as on the quality of the installed microphones. Furthermore it has to be noted that this method only detects the drones. Professional drones however will not be detected by this system since they fly at higher altitudes.

  • Drone Shield: sensor network with acoustic detection technology
  • Meritis Drone Defence: Stationary Drone Defence System RTX-3000RCI with Radar and Camera Integration
  • DeTect: fine tuned radar to find drones flying amid other clutter like birds and ground objects. 
  • Aaronia:  Drone and Radar Detection System
  • Furuno: Solid State Doppler Radar 

Jamming

Another countermeasure is a jamming device. There is a variety of providers of such systems, each one with a slightly different approach to the problem. 

But in essence, the idea is to block and interfere with the communication singnals. These jammers (at least the "good ones") offer a highly effective protection against UAVs since they paralyse the complete radio connection within a certain area. The use of these systems by civilians is prohibited as they not only disrupt the drone signal but also interfere with other devices in the surrounding areas such as the rescue workers radio. Companies selling such jammers to civilians may face hefty fines. Because of the risk of abuse of such devices the us of jammers is reserved for  government authorities only.

  • RTX-300P: Portable Drone Defence System (AUDS)
  • RTX-2000M: Mobile Drone Defence System (AUDS), car mounted
  • RTX-3000S: Stationary Drone Defence System (AUDS), standard
  • RTX-3000X: Stationary Drone Defence System (AUDS), large
  • Battle Drone Defender:  portable, shoulder-mounted rifle
  • Anti-Drone: surveillance radar, which allows detecting, identifying and tracking drones

Physically Capture the Drone

Some companies believe that the best way to neutralise a drone is to physically intercept it, since this eliminates the drone regardless whether flown manually or autonomously. The idea is to physically capture the drone with a "net" which is fired via a gas powered launcher and then land it safely with a parachute.     

  • SkyWall: SP40 includes a parachute which controls the descent of a captured drone.
drone physically capture net

Hacking

Beside the detection, the jamming and the capturing of UAVs there is a fourth countermeasure: drones can be hacked. In order to do so one has to equip his or her own quadrocopter with a minicomputer and wireless transmitters.

Via a software the minicomputer recognises the signals of other drones in the vicinity. Since every drone has an individuel MAC-adress (like every other network-compatible device), the software can identify the drones,  throw them out of their network and subsequently include them in their own wireless network and therefor control the other UAVs.

drone hacking defence possibilities protection
  • Skyjack: a drone engineered to autonomously seek out, hack, and wirelessly take over other drones within wifi distance, creating an army of zombie drones under your control.
  • Maldrone: a drone "virus" infecting approachting drones with malware
  • Pwnie Express: stops drone from flying near a device and inserting some kind of malicious code via WiFi.